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Behind the Scenes at the Federal Cartridge Co. Plant

Behind the Scenes at the Federal Cartridge Co. Plant

Federal_1

Comments (31)

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from uplander12 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

It doesn't seem like supply is an issue, so why are shotgun shells so damn expensive?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

They have too many shells, I could help out abit..
what time do they close?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hardwoodjdc wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Help me out here, can someone explain this new type of ammo "centerfire and rimfire ammunication,"????

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jackie_treehorn wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I agree... what is the nature of the supply/demand relationship with market prices of ammo?!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Why is Federal Ammo so expensive? Why is gasoline $3.00 a gallon? It is indeed a very complex answer, so I will suck up to the folks at Federal and say "BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nolanwb wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Good question, "Why is ammunition so expensive?" Presently, nearly everything in America is mass produced. Automated machines do the work, if they aren't able to use cheap labor in China. No wages involved, in relation to the total output of production. Especially, one should ask why .22 rimfire ammo is even as expensive as it is. Not a "human soul" touches that ammo, in production. Just me....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Matthew Dykstra wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Try the Federal Freaking Government for the reason Ammunication costs so much.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from lorne.prince wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

What is ammunication?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Using the bicycles seems like a good idea to get around a big plant. I would be tempted to give my entire check back to Federal, toward ammo, if I worked there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hogula wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

This web site sucks. Do they really expect anyone to click through all 28 pages of this garbage one sentence at a time?

-12 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

So what did you make off with, 1 shell, box, case, pallet?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

lorne.prince

ammunication?

This is when your brain cells collide when trying to say and think of two words at once, ammunition and vacation. Phil was trying to say ammunition while thinking how great it would be to have all that ammo on a vacation!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Ok, hardwoodjdc said ammunication, but I'll bet Phil was thinking it! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mad_dog9999 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Definition of ammunication: Communication through the discharge of ammunition. Example: The rate of Bob's ammunication suggested he had left his glasses at home again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

How about speaking to Federal and others to expand their offerings in 16 gauge? To me it is ludacris that 00 buck and slugs are available in 410, but not in the 16 gauge. There a a large number of people who still prefer to use a 16 gauge shotgun and would use slugs, 00 buck, steel shot and everything else that is offered in 12, 20, 28, and even 410. Check it out on line. I know that I would.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from milsky24 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Thats quite he process and a whole lot of ammo made everyday!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harding7 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

First, be happy Federal is able to put out so many different grades and prices of ammo. Second, if they had enough demand for 16 guage, they would make it; with low demand, the price would be much higher and you'd complain about that. 'Til then you'll just have to load your own. And third, for dealing with a product which can be so messy, I'm impressed with the cleanliness of the plant and machinery.

Next purchase of shotgun ammo will be Federal.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Here Here NM, I ditto everything you just posted about 16 gauge ammo!!! WE NEED MORE OF IT!!! ITS A GREAT GAUGE!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I wish they would put a little thicker brass plating (or whatever it is) on those steel shell heads, sux to have rusty shotgun shells. Actually I've had guys at the gun store argue with me that federal shells are all brass headed and cannot rust, even when I had a rusty specimen in hand!
Nice to know I'm not crazy, I figured it had to be steel as brass does not rust last I checked.

BTW, how do they attach the head to the hull? I always thought the plastic was injection molded right into the head, as I've never seen a hull separate even after repeated reloadings. (I use them until they are splitting down the sides!)

If they are glued in I'd like to know what kind of glue they use!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I can see that 16 gauge shell issue is and most likely be a circular argurment. The ammo companies will say that the demand isn't there and the shooters will say that if there were more options than we would use more. Being ignorant of the process I wonder how hard,expensive can it be? After all isn't shot size, shot size irrespective of gauge? How hard would it be to run off 10% of your production run be a full line of 16s?
When I bought my shotgun in the 70s everything that was available in 20 and 12 was there in 16 also. You would think that at least Winchester would have more to offer since Browning is still making pump 16s.
I also live in New Mexico and it is like living in a zoo. I have had raccons and deer in my back yard, coyotes and cougars in my front yard ,my neighbor had a bear in his yard, elk are seen frequently and we all live in town. If I had to, I would much rather take a shot at something big and hairy with my shot gun than my -06.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

seems like machines do everything in that plant. wonder what the hourly wage is. i bet they make a 300% profit on every box they sell.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Take a shot at something big and hairy that was on my back porch that is.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coyute wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks for the behind the scenes look but at $20 bucks a box for I will look elsewhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks for the tour. The brilliance that goes into inventing the processes and equipment - admirable. The hulls are actually stretched? Or just extruded?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 18 weeks ago

Here's the scary skinny on lead....shot is made from old lead batteries, and the movement is to eliminate the lead in batteries..when it happens the price of lead shoots way up, and the market will eliminate lead..politics will not be the driving force. And the cost now is drivin by new shell development all the time..new marketing, boxes, wad, and shot components. My new Prairie Storm shells have 30% silver coated, and 70% copper coated shot...and the fastest load I can buy...costs money, and I am excited to use them. And Federal shows a target with 75% pattern at 40 yds using an improved cylinder choke for those that think they need a tighter choked gun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 18 weeks ago

jamesti..Please, 300%? Shell mark up is one of the lowest markups in the sporting goods dept. Guns included. You need to talk to me about econ 101, and pick up some overhead principles.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 18 weeks ago

A lot of you guys really need to take Econ 101 before making irrational statements about cost. There are lots of shell makers competing for market share, and squeezing what profit they can out of a box of shells is the reality. I won't bore you with the costs/overhead they have. The list would be lengthy to not even mention the liability insurance they must have to carry.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weatherbyj wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

where can i get an application?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Very cool to see how their made.
I wouldn't mind owning their warehouse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bernitheracer wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

i am surprise at the expensive comment , especially comming from the land of guns the us of a , in montreal i can buy a case (250 rounds)of federal target quality ammo (12 and 20) for around 60.00$ including taxes , you need inexpensive for target shooting (i shoot a lot ), for hunting buy the better quality one but at 15.00 for 25 shell i hardly call this expensive

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Dot wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

Did you see them make any 10 gauge hulls?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from uplander12 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

It doesn't seem like supply is an issue, so why are shotgun shells so damn expensive?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

How about speaking to Federal and others to expand their offerings in 16 gauge? To me it is ludacris that 00 buck and slugs are available in 410, but not in the 16 gauge. There a a large number of people who still prefer to use a 16 gauge shotgun and would use slugs, 00 buck, steel shot and everything else that is offered in 12, 20, 28, and even 410. Check it out on line. I know that I would.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Matthew Dykstra wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Try the Federal Freaking Government for the reason Ammunication costs so much.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Here Here NM, I ditto everything you just posted about 16 gauge ammo!!! WE NEED MORE OF IT!!! ITS A GREAT GAUGE!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock32 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

They have too many shells, I could help out abit..
what time do they close?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

seems like machines do everything in that plant. wonder what the hourly wage is. i bet they make a 300% profit on every box they sell.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from nolanwb wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Good question, "Why is ammunition so expensive?" Presently, nearly everything in America is mass produced. Automated machines do the work, if they aren't able to use cheap labor in China. No wages involved, in relation to the total output of production. Especially, one should ask why .22 rimfire ammo is even as expensive as it is. Not a "human soul" touches that ammo, in production. Just me....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I wish they would put a little thicker brass plating (or whatever it is) on those steel shell heads, sux to have rusty shotgun shells. Actually I've had guys at the gun store argue with me that federal shells are all brass headed and cannot rust, even when I had a rusty specimen in hand!
Nice to know I'm not crazy, I figured it had to be steel as brass does not rust last I checked.

BTW, how do they attach the head to the hull? I always thought the plastic was injection molded right into the head, as I've never seen a hull separate even after repeated reloadings. (I use them until they are splitting down the sides!)

If they are glued in I'd like to know what kind of glue they use!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I can see that 16 gauge shell issue is and most likely be a circular argurment. The ammo companies will say that the demand isn't there and the shooters will say that if there were more options than we would use more. Being ignorant of the process I wonder how hard,expensive can it be? After all isn't shot size, shot size irrespective of gauge? How hard would it be to run off 10% of your production run be a full line of 16s?
When I bought my shotgun in the 70s everything that was available in 20 and 12 was there in 16 also. You would think that at least Winchester would have more to offer since Browning is still making pump 16s.
I also live in New Mexico and it is like living in a zoo. I have had raccons and deer in my back yard, coyotes and cougars in my front yard ,my neighbor had a bear in his yard, elk are seen frequently and we all live in town. If I had to, I would much rather take a shot at something big and hairy with my shot gun than my -06.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coyute wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks for the behind the scenes look but at $20 bucks a box for I will look elsewhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

So what did you make off with, 1 shell, box, case, pallet?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jackie_treehorn wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I agree... what is the nature of the supply/demand relationship with market prices of ammo?!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lorne.prince wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

What is ammunication?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bernitheracer wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

i am surprise at the expensive comment , especially comming from the land of guns the us of a , in montreal i can buy a case (250 rounds)of federal target quality ammo (12 and 20) for around 60.00$ including taxes , you need inexpensive for target shooting (i shoot a lot ), for hunting buy the better quality one but at 15.00 for 25 shell i hardly call this expensive

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks for the tour. The brilliance that goes into inventing the processes and equipment - admirable. The hulls are actually stretched? Or just extruded?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Using the bicycles seems like a good idea to get around a big plant. I would be tempted to give my entire check back to Federal, toward ammo, if I worked there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mad_dog9999 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Definition of ammunication: Communication through the discharge of ammunition. Example: The rate of Bob's ammunication suggested he had left his glasses at home again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hardwoodjdc wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Help me out here, can someone explain this new type of ammo "centerfire and rimfire ammunication,"????

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Take a shot at something big and hairy that was on my back porch that is.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 18 weeks ago

Here's the scary skinny on lead....shot is made from old lead batteries, and the movement is to eliminate the lead in batteries..when it happens the price of lead shoots way up, and the market will eliminate lead..politics will not be the driving force. And the cost now is drivin by new shell development all the time..new marketing, boxes, wad, and shot components. My new Prairie Storm shells have 30% silver coated, and 70% copper coated shot...and the fastest load I can buy...costs money, and I am excited to use them. And Federal shows a target with 75% pattern at 40 yds using an improved cylinder choke for those that think they need a tighter choked gun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 18 weeks ago

jamesti..Please, 300%? Shell mark up is one of the lowest markups in the sporting goods dept. Guns included. You need to talk to me about econ 101, and pick up some overhead principles.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 18 weeks ago

A lot of you guys really need to take Econ 101 before making irrational statements about cost. There are lots of shell makers competing for market share, and squeezing what profit they can out of a box of shells is the reality. I won't bore you with the costs/overhead they have. The list would be lengthy to not even mention the liability insurance they must have to carry.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

lorne.prince

ammunication?

This is when your brain cells collide when trying to say and think of two words at once, ammunition and vacation. Phil was trying to say ammunition while thinking how great it would be to have all that ammo on a vacation!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Ok, hardwoodjdc said ammunication, but I'll bet Phil was thinking it! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Why is Federal Ammo so expensive? Why is gasoline $3.00 a gallon? It is indeed a very complex answer, so I will suck up to the folks at Federal and say "BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD!"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from milsky24 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Thats quite he process and a whole lot of ammo made everyday!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weatherbyj wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

where can i get an application?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZCORR wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Very cool to see how their made.
I wouldn't mind owning their warehouse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Dot wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

Did you see them make any 10 gauge hulls?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harding7 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

First, be happy Federal is able to put out so many different grades and prices of ammo. Second, if they had enough demand for 16 guage, they would make it; with low demand, the price would be much higher and you'd complain about that. 'Til then you'll just have to load your own. And third, for dealing with a product which can be so messy, I'm impressed with the cleanliness of the plant and machinery.

Next purchase of shotgun ammo will be Federal.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hogula wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

This web site sucks. Do they really expect anyone to click through all 28 pages of this garbage one sentence at a time?

-12 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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Additional Info

The Federal Cartridge Company has been in business in Anoka, MN, since 1922. Along with another plant in Lewiston, Idaho, Federal makes shotshell, centerfire and rimfire ammunition, including some of the most innovative hunting loads in the industry.

Field & Stream Shotgun Editor Phil Bourjaily visited the Anoka factory in September with tour guide Tim Brandt and photographer Erika Gratz, giving him a behind-the-scenes look at the shotshell line where the shells begin as ground plastic, sheets of brass or steel, lead ignots and powder and are turned into finished shells by the thousands. 

Here's a look at two of the shotshell lines at once: the premium line that loads Federal's Prairie Storm ammunition and the high-speed line that makes budget-priced Top Gun target loads.

bmxbiz-fs